Larry’s Supraphonic Update

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Last December, Larry was giving all sorts of drums to some of us lowlifes here on the DW Forum. I was fortunate enough to receive his re-born Ludwig Super Sensitive in its new form of a 6.5 Supraphonic.

Well as the winter months went on and work became busier (I teach middle school Science) and family life took over for a few months, I had to put the Supra on the back burner for a while.

Well, school’s out for summer (cue Alice Cooper) and I have lots of free time during the day, so I decided to dig into the Supra and get it going. I first took all the lugs off and dug out some broken screws in a few of them – a little tedious but no big deal. Next, I cleaned up all the tension rods. All but four of them were rust-free and cleaned up very nicely. The other four that had some rust got soaked in CLR for a while and look pretty good. I then bought two new 14” 10 lug triple-flanged hoops (batter and snare side) some new cupped washers and screws for some of the lugs and new washers for the tension rods. Next, I cleaned and polished the shell and the lugs and set forth on putting everything back together. I put on a new Evans Hazy 300 along with the 20 strand wires on the snare side and kept the Emperor head that Larry used on the batter.

I’m messing around a bit with the tuning right now. I have the batter head where I want it (I might tweak it bit here and there) and just need to dial in the reso head. Right now, I have it pretty thoroughly cranked and it might actually be a little choked… the drum has a nasty Boing!!!!! right now. But I’ll get that worked out.

Thanks again Larry!!

Here’s some pics:

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Ghostnote

Guest
Beautiful drum, and good on Larry. If I could only play one snare for the rest of my days, that would probably be the one. Enjoy
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Heavenly!!

I spent some time fine tuning the Supra this morning and got everything right where I wanted it and BAM!!, it all came together. What a beautiful sounding drum.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
That looks great! Good on ya both.

Did you end up loosening the reso a little to get it where you want? A super tight reso can definitely give you a lot of BOING with a moderately tensioned batter.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Yes, I had the reso head just a hair too tight. Brought it back down a little bit and voila, it came to life!!

The extra inch and a half depth is fantastic.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You mean Mitch's Supraphonic update :)

I agree, the 6.5 is a great depth, it has it all.

Great to hear that you started on the drum. So sorry about the broken screws. I honestly don't understand, the drum AFAIK was fully functional at the time of shipment. Perhaps I didn't loosen the heads and it got really cold in an airplane(?) and the rods contracted and tore metal apart at the cellular level, yikes.

I wish there was a way to know the history of that drum. I got it used in like 2004 for 100 from Sam Ash in NE Phila. I have no idea how many owners it had. It had the original separately tensioned snare wires on it. I date it to 1979. Really did not enjoy the SS strainer so converted it to a Supra many years later, and IMO, greatly improved the tone of the drum.

The guy from Sam Ash did say that John Bonham played this exact same Supra at Knebworth...he thinks :)
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Hey Larry, no biggie on the screws, it was an easy fix and gave me the opportunity to get the lug casings all nice and shiny. I just wish I had the time months ago to dig into it and get it back up and running - better late than never, right? I gave the drum a thorough work out yesterday and it sounds great. Just the right amount of ring when you want it without being out of control. Sweet!

The drum cleaned up beautifully and looks and sounds fantastic for a 38 year-old drum (yeah, the serial number dates it to 1979). That you again! I'm not sure if it'll ever see the inside of the SKB case again except during times of transport. I might even put the rope back on!!

Bonham played a converted SS at Knebworth? Interesting?!?
 

TheElectricCompany

Senior Member
I've never before heard that Bonham played a Super Sensitive. I've seen photos of his snares outfitted with a P83 and I believe at least one P85. I think Larry's remark was tongue in cheek, but if anyone has a photo that they believe shows a Super Sensitive mechanism I'd be interested to see it. There's plenty of little oddities to find with Bonham's set ups.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've never before heard that Bonham played a Super Sensitive. I've seen photos of his snares outfitted with a P83 and I believe at least one P85. I think Larry's remark was tongue in cheek, but if anyone has a photo that they believe shows a Super Sensitive mechanism I'd be interested to see it. There's plenty of little oddities to find with Bonham's set ups.
I was fibbing about JB. I confess, I was trying to manufacture fake mojo.

It really is a fine sounding drum.
 
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